Your Top Caliber Gangster Film
My father and I decided to view the film The Departed. This film was a fast-paced, intense, mobster thriller. Its suspenseful energy was dynamic in the development of the storyline. We both agreed that this film was worth seeing. It was a grand collaboration of good acting coupled with enthralling, gripping effects. We discussed the films dramatic performance, its merciless theme, and the subtle trivia underlying the mobster lifestyle.
This film used a lot of “heavy hitting” actors to pull of the intensity needed. The legendary Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, along with a host of others. DiCaprio's two sided character was so expressively confused, I could literally feel his struggle. Matt Damon’s deceptiveness was uncanny. From the unlikely turn he takes into police work, to the use of his position to scheme for the underworld is menacing beyond compare. And though the film script is well written and moves with fluid energy, it would be nothing without the impeccable acting. The contrast of Costigan (DiCaprio) and Sullivan (Damon) is played so well that the viewers feel as though they’re a part of these men’s entire life experiences. The films strength is drawn greatly from the profundity from which the actors act from. They truly encapsulate the depth of a gangster’s state of affairs.
The Departed incorporates a host of merciless plots to take the lives of fellow gangsters, opposing arch enemies, and innocent bystanders that interfere or contribute to the task at hand. Personally, this film was hard to watch, seeing that I don’t view many gangster films. At first, the constant killing was horrendous to me. But as my father – more of an expert than myself – and I continued to watch, I was a bit disturbed that the murdering was almost becoming common place in my mind. To a certain degree, however, this type of picture needed to be painted to properly account for the film’s viewpoint. The violence builds upon itself, and ends in the greatest destruction, the loss of a massive leader – mobster or not. With this film, however, it didn’t stop there. When it felt that the end had surfaced with the death of ring leader Costello (Nicholson), a series of deaths closer to the subplot occur. This makes the film take an even more personal turn. Each death is connected by some event – through way of romance, a previous relationship, or even vengeance. Dad and I both agreed that the subplot and the main plot almost flip flop their roles towards the end of the film, because the subplot answers the summation of the script – who wins!
There was interesting symbolism in this film that foreshadowed and explained the film in further detail when thought through. Every time someone’s fate is to be tested or we are about to witness the impending slaughter or doom of an individual, we see an imbedded “X” somewhere, or we see it shadowed somewhere in the camera shot. This happens at least 15 times.
Also, Sergeant Colin Sullivan takes a few glances at a golden dome [atop some government structure] that is in the distance throughout the film. At the very end, following his demise, we see it depicted again. I believe it shows the golden opportunity he could have had to be a servant-leader of his country. In contrast, however, the last scene shows a rat in front of the dome, possibly inferring that his rat-like qualities were what kept him from doing good in life.
As one that has never really cared for gangster films, the storyline and production was quite impressive. I’m glad my dad and I were able to see this together; it was quite a telling story. I enjoyed being able to try something new and then learn from it.